What shocks me is the number of Bible-believing Christians who use the same excuses for not sharing their faith. Have you heard any of these before?
- “I don’t have the gift of evangelism. God has given me other gifts.”
- “I need to focus on my own spiritual growth right now.”
- “I don’t know enough about the Bible yet.”
- “Evangelism is God’s job.”
What do all of these statements have in common?
These excuses sound very spiritual.
They appear to be the kinds of things super- devout Christ followers would say, if for no other reason than lots of Christians who try to appear super devout have repeated these phrases over the years.
And one more thing: They’re all dead wrong. They are a gross distortion of biblical truth.
God’s Part And Our Part In Evangelism
Christians who believe the Bible is God’s authoritative Word but still refuse to evangelize are often confused about the part God plays in the evangelistic process and the part they are required to play.
The apostle Paul spells out these two aspects of the evangelism process perfectly in 2 Corinthians 5:17–21:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
God played His part in the evangelistic process by reconciling non-Christians “to himself through Christ” (v. 18). The cross was God’s job. It is a finished work. What most Christians fail to understand, however, is that the cross only opened up the possibility of reconciliation.
Every nonbeliever on the planet wasn’t immediately reconciled to God the day Jesus died.
As Romans 3:25 says, “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.”
The benefits of Christ’s “sacrifice of atonement” can only be received when one places his or her faith and trust in Christ.
Our part is as important as God’s part. Our job is to share with people “the good news” of Jesus’ work on the cross and persuade them to apply it to their lives.
Paul said that God “gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18).
God’s part is the cross.
Our part is helping friends and family members who are “deserving of [God’s] wrath” (Eph. 2:3) reconcile with God.
Both parts work together in tandem.
Notice the phrase “God gave us” (see 2 Cor. 5:18).
God didn’t ask if we might be interested in helping Him at some point when we have free time. He didn’t suggest that it might be nice to share in what He did through Jesus, but only if we could work it into our schedules. The Creator of the universe “gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (v. 18).
Admittedly, you didn’t ask for this.
You may not want to be involved.
You may not even like it.
But it’s your ministry now.
God gave it to you.
“I don’t have the gift of evangelism” and other statements like it are just excuses, and none of them has the support of Scripture. Christians say these things when they want to get off the hook from a responsibility to share their faith with their nonbelieving friends.
If you use these types of excuses to justify your lack of evangelistic passion and action, I guarantee that other non-evangelistic Christians will overhear you and help you justify your disobedience.
Regardless of how many years they’ve been Christians or how extensively they claim to know the Bible—they’re lying to you.
If we’re not sharing our faith and we feel bad about ourselves, that’s probably a good thing.
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